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Will it be Grace or Works that save us?

“And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace


is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more
grace: otherwise work is no more work.” (Romans 11:6)

If it is the grace of God that saves then it is not my works. Unmerited favour
is grace and such is precisely what is being exercised on the part of God to
grant unto us eternal life. We only deserve to die on the count of our sins
hence we can never earn eternal life. Deserving only death if God gives to us
eternal life it is only because of his unmerited favour toward us.
If eternal life could be worked for then I do not need unmerited favour to
receive it, I have merited or earned it and God is obliged to give me what I
have worked for and so ‘grace is no more grace.’ So long as it can be earned
there is no more grace for it has ceased to be needed hence ceased to exist.
Following this contrast between the necessity of grace saving us as opposed
to our own works Paul continues,

‘But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise


work is no more work.’

If it be by grace then it is no more of works just as much as if


it be by works it is no more of grace. Therefore grace does
cancel the necessity of works just as much as works do
cancel the necessity of grace. It is either the grace of God
that saves us or our own works; you cannot have both.

And just why is it that you cannot have both is simple. What
is it that we are being saved from? Sin.

Can we of our own works forgive ourselves of just one sin?


Can we of our own works release ourselves from the very
real penalty of death? Of course not. Seeing then that there
lies no power in and of ourselves to be freed from sin and its
power our attention must turn to the grace of God.

If it really be of grace then there is no more need for works


because grace is all sufficient and hence the contrasting
opposite is no less true in that if it really be of works then
there is no more need of grace for works are all sufficient.
Works arising from us if they are of sufficient power to save
then these are not just works in the ordinary sense for they
possess in themselves the power of salvation, and therefore
you the doer of these works are in possession of salvation,
you are saved already. It is thus how ‘work is no more work.’
Works are no longer needed if they possess in themselves
the power to save for the doer of those works has power
already to save himself and hence it follows he must have
salvation existing in him already.